Trust Trust

Trust

Winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

    • 3.5 • 41 Ratings
    • $4.99
    • $4.99

Publisher Description

A Most Anticipated Book of 2022 - Vulture, AV Club, Lithub, Oprah Daily, Goodreads

A literary puzzle about money, power, and intimacy, TRUST is a novel that challenges the myths shrouding wealth, and the fictions that often pass for history.


Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth-all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune?

This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1938 novel that all of New York seems to have read. But it isn't the only version of this story of privilege and deceit.

Hernan Diaz's TRUST brilliantly puts this narrative into conversation with other accounts-and in tension with the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction. The result is a novel that becomes more exhilarating with each new revelation. Provocative and propulsive, TRUST engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the reality-warping gravitational pull of capital and the ease with which power can manipulate facts.

CO-WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2023


PRAISE FOR TRUST

"For all its elegant complexity and brilliant construction, Diaz's novel is compulsively readable, and despite taking place in the early 1900s, the plot reads like an indictment of the start of the twenty-first century with its obsession with obscure financial instruments and unhinged capital accumulation. A captivating tour de force that will astound readers with its formal invention and contemporary relevance." - The Booklist

"A rip-roaring, razor-sharp dissection of capitalism, class, greed, and the meaning of money itself that also manages to be a dazzling feat of storytelling on its own terms... Important and timely. But the uniquely brilliant way in which Diaz tells that story, as meticulously researched as it is narratively exhilarating, makes it a novel not just for the present age but for the ages." - Vogue

'EXHILARATING' - New York Times

'SUBLIME' - Roxane Gay

'DAZZLING' - Vogue

'GENIUS' - Lauren Groff

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
2022
10 May
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
416
Pages
PUBLISHER
Pan Macmillan UK
SELLER
Macmillan Publishers Australia and Pan Macmillan Australia
SIZE
2
MB

Customer Reviews

rhitc ,

Too clever for me

3.5 stars

Author
Born in Argentina, raised in Sweden, but has spent most of his adult life (he’s 49 as I write this) in the U. S. of A. PhD from NYU. Multiple prizes and fellowships. Associate director of Hispanic Institute for Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia, and managing editor of the Revista Hispánica Moderna. If you thought he sounds like the sort of guy who might write a book about Borges, give yourself a pat on the back. Mr Diaz has also written essays (not all about Borges) and short fiction for The Paris Review, Granta, Playboy, The Yale Review, and McSweeney’s. His first novel, In The Distance (2017), is about a Swedish kid, penniless and alone in California, who travels east in search of his brother: a “western without cowboys” that “defies the conventions of historical fiction and genre” according to the blurb. It was named one of the top books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Feminist Press, PANK (No. Me either. Here’s the link: https://pankmagazine.com), and The Paris Review. Lit Hub went one step further and called it one the 20 best novels of the decade. In The Distance also collected the William Saroyan International Prize, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, the Prix Page America Award, and the New American Voices Award (Google ‘em up if you want more detail) and was a finalist for the Pulitzer and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2018. Phew! For me, it was Cormac McCarthy meets The Revenant, but I’m a philistine who should be ignored (see footnote 1). This is Mr Diaz’s highly anticipated sophomore novel.

Plot
Ron Charles, the book critic from the Washington Post (WaPo to those inside the beltway), had this to say. “Trust is about an early-20th-century investor. Or at least it seems to be. Everything about this cunning story makes a mockery of its title. The only certainty here is Diaz’s brilliance and the value of his rewarding book. Though framed as a novel, Trust is actually an intricately constructed quartet of stories — what Wall Street traders would call a 4-for-1 stock split.” (Did I mention Mr Charles can be a tad pretentious?)
What he means is the first part is a novelly-sort of metafiction-y thing about Benjamin Rask, a maths prodigy and heir to a tobacco fortune who sells the family business, which was doing quite nicely, then parlays the proceeds to become fabulously wealthy trading in stocks and bonds in the late 19th century and early 20th century New York. The metafiction is that the story is actually supposed to be a novel written in the late 1930s (i.e. after the stock market crash of 1929) by some dude named Harold to show the wealthy financier, who is married to a much younger but equally eccentric younger woman named Chloe, isn’t all sweetness and light (surprise, surprise). The second part of the book is an unfinished autobiography of the aforementioned financier, which provides a different slant. The third part is an essay written by our boy’s (female) ghost-writer many years later (Long enough that the rules of decorum or whatever no longer apply. Can we talk here?) The final part is a sort of review and discussion, like a post-grad college seminar, of all the stuff written by and about the long dead Rask. Spoiler alert: the super rich dude and his missus do get their comeuppance.

Writing
The first part was a bit stuffy, evoking the period more like Edith Wharton than Fitzgerald IMHO. I liked it. After that, not so much. Not because of Mr Diaz’s prose, which is worth reading for no other reason than how well he writes. More because I struggled to get my old white guy head around the point, or points, the author was seeking to make.

Bottom line
Too clever for me, I think. Actually, I don’t think. I know. I like In The Distance better.

Footnotes
1. No one knows for sure what language the actual Philistines spoke back in the day. It almost certainly wasn’t Spanish, which didn’t exist yet, and explains why philistines today don’t get published in Revista Hispánica Moderna. Or not.
2. On the basis of footnote 1, it seems likely that reading Trust has affected my brain, and not in a good way. I plan to try a James Patterson detox. Helen Fielding if that doesn’t work.

Live? ,

Can’t open this

I got halfway through this book but Apple Books hasn’t allowed me to open it since despite trying everything purchasing and try to reset etc. I was enjoying this and not a shot at the author but no other way to complain.

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